Bacterial (Yersinia) Infection in Chinchillas

Jul 7, 2010
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Yersinia Infection in Chinchillas

Infection caused by the bacteria belonging to the genus Yersinia is referred to as yersiniosis. Because it is transmitted via contact with wild rodents that are carriers of the disease, pet chinchillas raised at home rarely contract the infection. However, chinchillas can also get yerniosis by eating infected droppings or from their mothers, prior to birth or through milk while nursing.

Yerniosis can spread quickly and is difficult to treat. Deciphering a diagnosis is also quite difficult, as the chinchilla exhibits no specific signs. Therefore, preventing yerniosis from infecting your chinchilla by following a strict hygiene regimen is vital.

Symptoms

  • Loss of energy
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Death

Causes

Being exposed to wild rodents that are carriers of the disease is the most likely source of infection. Chinchillas can also get the disease by eating infected droppings or from their mothers, either prior to birth or through milk while nursing.

Diagnosis

Observing the various non-specific signs exhibited by the chinchilla would make your veterinarian suspect a possible bacterial cause. Blood tests will need to be performed to confirm the diagnosis of Yersinia infection. Lesions observed during postmortem examination may also make your veterinarian suspect a possible case of yersiniosis.

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